Respiratory pathogens represent a major public health issue and have a large socio-economic impact. Infections caused by influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, metapneumovirus, are associated with millions of days of absenteeism from work/school and, globally, represent a leading cause of consultations, hospitalizations and deaths in both developed and developing countries. Up to now, no or very few efficient vaccines or antiviral treatments have been reported in the medical literature to fight against these respiratory pathogens, with the exception of those available against influenza viruses. However, resistance of influenza viral strains to current antiviral agents, such as Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) or the recently approved Baloxavir Marboxil (Xofluza®) constitutes a growing health stake.
Our translational and clinical research aims to contribute to develop innovative strategy to meet these unmet urgent medical needs. In close connection with basic research and as a follow-up and upgrade of ongoing translational programs, two axes will be developed: (i) Identification and evaluation of marketed drugs targeting the host for their repurposing as innovative antivirals, in close partnership with Signia Therapeutics SAS, a spin-off of VirPath, major pharmaceutical companies and the Hospices Civils de Lyon; (ii) Genomic engineering optimization and pre-clinical validation of a new live attenuated viral vaccine candidate against Pneumoviruses and the development/scale-up of an avian cell DuckCelt-T17-based production pilot process in partnership with Vaxxel SAS, a spin-off of VirPath and our Research Technology Platform VirNext .
(Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP)